The Los Angeles Angels have changed over the years


The Los Angeles Angels used to have to almost beg fans to come out and watch them.  Ever since the Angels won the World Series all that has changed.  I will give you a few reasons why.

When I was growing up the Los Angeles Angels did not exist as the team was then called the California Angels.  The crowd during the week was usually around 20,000 fans many of which arrived late and left early.  The park was almost always dead unless the Angels did something well.  There was no “Let’s Go Angels” , no “Rally Monkey”.  The weekend games were a little bit better attendance wise usually drawing around 30,000 fans a night. When Rod Carew got his 3,000th hit, Don Sutton earned his 300th win, and Reggie Jackson hit his 500th homer there was no sellout crowd (not even close).  There was maybe 38,000 fans there for any of the three events.

There were some good moments when the Angels won the AL West in 1979, 1982, and 1986. There were also some big crowds for July 4th fireworks night and a few special giveaways.  I was at musical hat giveaway against Boston which drew around 61,000 fans and also the biggest regular season crowd on July 4th, 1983 when 63,132 fans passed through the turnstile.  Finally on July 4th, 1985 the Angels drew 62,958 in a comeback win against the Boston Red Sox.

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On the weekday games you hardly ever saw the wave being done or heard much enthusiasm, but on the weekends the crowd would sometimes be very involved, but this was the section rather than the rule.

When Disney bought the team in 1998 and changed the name to the Anaheim Angels they brought some Disney Magic with them doing Friday Night Fireworks shows each week which would usually draw 35,000 to 40,000 fans.  The park became a little more lively on those nights and it would continue when the Angels Rally Monkey was born in June of 2000.

Now crowds would get enthusiastic when the Angels started a rally because the Rally Monkey told them to do so. Finally the magical 2002 season came around.  It started out like any other season with somewhat low expectations. However, that quickly changed as the Angels went on an early season eight-game winning streak. The crowd started to get behind the magical team that would eventually win the Angels their first World Series title.

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It became the cool thing to do going to an Angels game during that season.  I remember walking up to my first ever baseball playoff game wondering how the crowd would respond.  I was walking up to the stadium with my best friends Chuck and Dave and hear the crowd already buzzing an hour before game-time with the Thunder Sticks.  The noise was deafening and it stayed that way throughout the whole playoffs.

This was a turning point for the Angels franchise as Orange County got behind this club with a vengeance and at home games it Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers.  It used to feel like a road game as the fans of these three teams would often outnumber Angels fans and definitely their volume was much more than the Angels fans.  In 2003 and beyond it was not the case anymore.

Despite having a seating capacity of 20,000 less seats the averaged more fans in 2003 than any year in team history as they averaged 37,891 fans per game breaking the three million mark in attendance for the first time in club history.

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Every year since 2003 the Angels have drawn over three million fans which is a great streak to have which is now up to 14 seasons in a row.  This an exceptional streak to have especially since the team has only made the playoffs once since 2009.  More importantly is the energy in the crowd.  There are always a group of fans each game who start the wave or a”Let’s Go Angels” chant.

The Rally Monkey will start his 17th season as the Angels unofficial mascot in 2017 and he shows no signs of slowing down in his advanced age.  The Friday night fireworks is now on Saturday, but it still draws well.  The Angels have many popular promotions that draw big crowds such as the numerous Guinness Book of World Records night where all the spectators are asked to don some type of attire in order to set a new record.

Christmas in July has become popular as well and the ever popular bobble head giveaways.  The atmosphere is amazing some nights and I just sit back and enjoy and think about how far this franchise has come over the past 15 years.  All we need now is a playoff team to match the intensity.  Hopefully the team will get back there sooner rather than later.  Let’s see what 2017 brings.